GSA Technology Council

Innovation Center for High-tech Sectors Breaks Ground

Innovation Center
Clemson University and Greenville Technical College officials broke ground Monday for a $25 million center that will advance the manufacturing workforce and serve the automotive, transportation and other high-tech sectors.

The Center for Manufacturing Innovation (CMI) is a collaboration between a leading research university, an innovative technical college and manufacturers to create a center that enhances the development and implementation of advanced manufacturing technologies.

The primary goal for CMI is to increase the number of skilled workers for manufacturing to close the skills gap that has hampered the progress of many Upstate employers.

CMI, to be located adjacent to the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research Technology Neighborhood 1, will offer education designed to meet industry needs. It will include dual-credit programs in partnership with Greenville County Schools, articulations that promote students’ progress from associate’s to bachelor’s degrees and workforce training and certificate programs that increase the qualifications of manufacturing employees.

Research for innovation in advanced manufacturing and future technologies related to advanced manufacturing will be incorporated into instruction. CMI will also include a Manufacturing Honors College, expected to be the first of its kind.

The center will engage K-12 students and show them the possibilities that exist in advanced manufacturing careers through dual enrollment programs, tours, camps and open houses. Students will also benefit from internships and apprenticeships that allow them to gain practical experience working alongside experienced engineers, faculty and staff.

CMI is designed to change perceptions about manufacturing with architectural features that will instantly engage students. The entryway will provide observation points where a visitor can view simulated advanced manufacturing environments and interactive displays that will educate and inspire.

From an economic development perspective, Upstate leaders have said that the economic development race will be won by communities that offer the services manufacturers need. To help companies compete globally, employers need a flexible, highly skilled workforce equipped to maximize new technologies, adapt to evolving production processes and work organization models and solve problems rapidly.

The center will offer landing pad space that helps companies start up or relocate and will provide flexible space where manufacturers can create prototypes and teach their current employees new skills to keep them on the cutting edge of improvements in technology.

The idea for the campus began with the needs of employers. As the concept has been developed, leaders with area manufacturers including BMW, Michelin, GE, Bosch Rexroth, ADEX Machining Technologies, League Manufacturing, JTEKT Koyo, Fabri-Kal, SpecFab Services, Master PT, Standard Motor Products and more have voiced strong support for the project and have provided input that has allowed plans for CMI to take shape.

In September 2013, the Greenville County Council gave unanimous approval to a $25 million bond issue for Greenville Technical College to build an enterprise campus.

In November 2013, the presidents of Greenville Tech and Clemson University signed a memorandum of understanding.

Clemson University President James P. Clements said Clemson is proud to continue its strong relationship with Greenville Technical College.

“The Center for Manufacturing Innovation is another great example of the partnership between Clemson and Greenville Tech,” said Clements. “This center has the potential to transform manufacturing education in the Upstate, which will make a huge difference that will eventually be felt across South Carolina, and I am thankful for all of the people who worked to make this happen.”

“Our Center for Manufacturing Innovation represents a game-changing approach to education,” said Keith Miller, president of Greenville Technical College. “We will close the skills gap by creating the skills needed for new employees and improving the skills of the current workforce. And we will fully integrate education from the K-12 system to the two-year college to the four-year university level, working together to better meet the needs of manufacturers in order to advance our economy.”

Duke Energy Joins Solar Net Agreement in South Carolina

Duke EnergyThe Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) filed a comprehensive agreement in December 2014 with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSCSC) that spells out a balanced path for solar net metering in the state.

The agreement is supported by utilities – including Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress – solar businesses, environmental groups and others.

“Cooperation was a key element when South Carolina passed solar legislation in June,” said Clark Gillespy, Duke Energy president — South Carolina. “Many of those same groups participating in that process have ironed out an agreement that will enable solar development in the state.”

Gillespy said the settlement proposes a methodology to calculate the value of solar generation, based on its known and quantifiable benefits and costs, and provides for direct incentives for distributed energy resources.

“Our customers will participate in the growth of solar through the various incentives described in the settlement,” added Gillespy “We believe this is a positive step for South Carolina – and the future of solar energy in our state.”

You can view the entire filing here.

Under the agreement, net metering customers as of Dec. 31, 2020, will continue to be credited at the retail rate through Dec. 31, 2025.
The difference between the applicable retail rate and the value of net metered solar generation as computed under the methodology proposed in the agreement will be treated as a Distributed Energy Resource (DER) program net metering incentive and collected from customers systemwide by the utilities. This will be subject to statutory caps in effect under Act 236, the Distributed Energy Resource Program Act.
Within 60 days of the settlement, Duke Energy will file DER programs, which will include incentives for residential and small commercial customer-generators.
The parties to the settlement have agreed to revisit net metering in 2020. The new net metering tariffs approved in 2020 would apply to new customers who elect to net meter after Jan. 1, 2021, and existing customers after Dec. 31, 2025.
“This agreement allows existing and future net metering customers to have rate treatment certainty for up to 10 years. It also enables utilities to recover the cost of providing service to all customers while maintaining 24-hour service to solar and non-solar customers,” said Gillespy.

via Duke Energy

Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research Announces New Automotive Engineering Chair and Executive Director

CU-ICARZoran Filipi was introduced Tuesday as automotive engineering chair and executive director of the Carroll A. Campbell Graduate Engineering Center at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). He begins his new role immediately.

We can take automotive engineering to the next level,” Filipi said. “What excites me most is the chance to continue building and growing a pioneering department that is already a success story.”

Filipi will be the second chair in the department’s history. He takes over for Imtiaz Haque, who helped create CU-ICAR and is retiring.

Robert Jones, Clemson University’s executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, said Filipi is highly qualified and brings an excellent set of credentials as a researcher and scholar in the automotive field.

“Zoran has a stellar record of leadership in education and research,” Jones said. “He is well-equipped to meet the growing need for top-notch automotive engineers and research.

“As department chair, he will play a key role in the CU-ICAR ecosystem that connects companies with Clemson’s students and faculty members.”

The department in the College of Engineering and Science started with three graduate students in 2006 and grew to more than 200 last year. All students in the program study at the graduate level, pursuing masters’ and doctoral degrees. Nearly 20 faculty members, most based out of CU-ICAR, are part of the department.

Filipi received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Belgrade in 1992 and joined the University of Michigan in 1994. There he was the director of the Center for Engineering Excellence through Hybrid Technology and the deputy director of the Automotive Research Center.

He is a fellow in the Society of Automotive Engineers. Filipi’s honors include the society’s Forest R. McFarland Award, The Institution of Mechanical Engineer’s Donald Julius Groen Award and the University of Michigan Research Faculty Achievement Award. He is editor-in-chief of The SAE International Journal of Alternative Powertrains.

via Clemson University

Comporium Names Russell Cook Managing Director of Comporium Ventures

ComporiumComporium announced today that Russell Cook was named managing director of Comporium Ventures, which will focus on managing its existing portfolio of investments and to identify and recommend new opportunities to acquire or invest in innovative new businesses.

CookCook, a graduate of Wofford College with a bachelor’s degree in economics, has broad experience in investment banking, real estate development, entrepreneurship, technology commercialization and economic development.

Prior to joining Comporium, Cook served since 2008 as managing director of 4e Ventures, LLC., which provides advisory services and execution support to established organizations considering new ventures, internal business incubation, innovation pipeline development; as well as, strategic investments and acquisitions.

Cook was a key member of the start-up team recruited to implement the S.C. Innovation Centers Act of 2005. The SC Launch program, a collaboration among the S.C. Research Authority, Clemson University, the Medical University of S.C. and the University of S.C., provides emerging technology companies with access to seed capital and a powerful resource network.

Cook serves as a trustee for South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, a director for Boys Farm, a director for the STEM Development Foundation, a member of the Michelin Development Steering Committee, and is a mentor for The Iron Yard Accelerator. He is a member of the South Carolina Economic Developers’ Association and is a certified South Carolina economic developer.

via Comporium

Help Wanted: IT/Voice Account Manager and Low Voltage Account Manager

Help Wanted

IT/Voice Account Manager
TSAChoice is actively seeking a self motivated account manager with a proven track record and knowledge of various types of information technology, including familiarity with switches, routers, servers, wireless, etc.
Low Voltage Account Manager
TSAChoice is actively seeking an audio/visual, low voltage and security account manager for the upstate SC area.

Preview more open positions on the GSATC jobs board. We encourage you to share it with anyone who may be in the hunt. If you are looking for work, feel free to let us know what you need on our LinkedIn group!

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Clemson Research Chosen as one of Physics World’s Top Ten Breakthroughs of 2014

ClemsonInnovative optical fiber developed by researchers from Clemson University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the University of New Mexico and Corning Incorporated was chosen as one of Physics World’s Top Ten Breakthroughs of 2014.

Physics World is the international monthly magazine published by the Institute of Physics. The editorial team recognized 10 achievements from 2014 in a range of topics from nuclear physics to nanotechnology. The top 10 breakthroughs were selected using the following criteria: the fundamental importance of the research, significant advance in knowledge, strong connection between theory and experiment, and general interest to all physicists.

“These researchers have taken a fundamental concept from the physics of electrical conductors — Anderson localization— and used it to make a fiber that is very good at transmitting images of light,” said Hamish Johnston, editor of “This work is a great example of how a creative team of researchers can borrow a concept from one area of physics and use it to make an important breakthrough in a different field.”

The research team successfully demonstrated that Anderson localization in an optical fiber could be used for endoscopic imaging. Their demonstration of spatial beam multiplexing suggested the possibility of using easily made disordered optical fibers for image transport and that it can have comparable or higher quality than some of the best commercially available multicore imaging optical fibers, with less pixilation and higher contrast.

Remarkably, the researchers say, the high-quality image transport is achieved because of, not in spite of, the imaging system’s high level of randomness.

“Our results open the way to device-level implementation of the transverse Anderson localization of light with potential applications in biological and medical imaging,” said John Ballato, professor and vice president for economic development at Clemson.

The researchers published their findings in February in Nature Communications. Future efforts will concentrate on reducing the attenuation of the disordered fiber for longer-distance image transport and on developing an air-glass disordered fiber to achieve a smaller beam localization radius for higher image transport resolution.

via Clemson University

Greenville Based ChartSpan Becomes Most Downloaded Medical App in America

chartspan-logoChartSpan, a consumer platform for patients managing healthcare records, has become the most downloaded iPhone and iPad medical app in the United States.

ChartSpan is an iPhone and iPad app empowering consumers with the ability to request, manage and send electronic healthcare records. The product was built by a group of innovative entrepreneurs who grew tired of waiting for the healthcare system to deliver on the promise of universal access to electronic patient healthcare records.

Less than two months after it’s initial product release ChartSpan has climbed to the number #1 ranking in the medical category on iTunes. ChartSpan is also beating industry conversion averages for downloads-to-active-users by nearly 500%.

ChartSpan is a FREE, encrypted and secure patient platform. Patients user ChartSpan to organize their entire family’s healthcare records from their smartphone or tablet. ChartSpan is the only consumer healthcare record technology built to capture all healthcare records and require no manual data entry.

“Our early success is validation of the two years we’ve spent developing this patient technology,” said ChartSpan CEO and cofounder, Jon­Michial Carter. “We’ve taken a contrarian approach to interoperability in healthcare. We’ve waited for more than a decade for providers, the government and the healthcare industry to deliver ubiquitous access to our patient healthcare records, with little success. At ChartSpan, we decided to stop waiting on providers and build technology that would enable those with chronic illnesses and mothers, managing their family’s healthcare needs, to use their smartphones, tablets or computers to manage their own workflow of healthcare records and information. Our technology includes much more than just medical records, it includes the ability to ingest dental, prescription, over ­the­ counter medications, genome information, vision, mental health records and much more.”

Demand for ChartSpan’s iPhone and iPad app is only the beginning for this healthcare start­up company from Greenville, South Carolina and an Iron Yard Digital Healthcare Accelerator graduate. “We are starting with healthcare encounter data, but much more is to come,” said Carter. “We are working to combine patient encounter data with bio­medical data from fitness bands, glucose readers and various other devices, as well as genome and proteomics data, to create preventive analytical dashboards for patients. We are building the most powerful data recommendation engine ever seen in consumer healthcare.”

ChartSpan plans to add an Android app to its Patient Platform by February and a web ­based version in Q1 of 2015.

via ChartSpan

Department of Energy Lists South Carolina Among Top 5 States in Fuel Cells

Directly from the U.S. Department of Energy State of the States: Fuel Cells in America 2014 report
DOE SealCalifornia, Connecticut, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina have been singled out as the Top 5 Fuel Cell States in past D.O.E reports for their supportive policies and incentives that have proven to encourage fuel cell installations, industry research and development and business expansion. California is by far the leader in the U.S., and arguably the world, with its progressive legislation that may be helping pave the way for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and the hydrogen infrastructure, stationary fuel cells running off renewable fuels and large-scale installations to help stabilize the electric grid. New York and Connecticut are home to several of the world’s leading fuel cell manufacturers and some of the longest running stationary systems in the country. Each state’s public benefit fund has been helping to fund installations for many years now.

While each of the top fuel cell states in D.O.E. reports have a unique industry focus – research and development, business and economic development, or technology deployment – the common denominators for growing fuel cell industry success seems to be:

• Collaboration and coordination among the industry’s players (business, government, and academia);
• Supportive government policies, created by the legislature and/or governor, which encourage the development and deployment of fuel cells;
• Incentives for fuel cell-related businesses to move to the state and to grow and succeed; and
• Financial support (grants, loans, tax incentives) for end users to encourage fuel cell demonstrations and deployment.

Each of the states see the fuel cell industry as an investment – an industry where the state can be a national leader, and a technology that delivers clean, low emission energy as well as economic benefits to the state.

In South Carolina
Almost a decade ago, South Carolina identified its strong capabilities in hydrogen and fuel cells technologies and began–through partnerships of government, business and academia – to nurture a growing fuel cell industry in the state.

SCHydrogenIn 2005, several studies (SCH2 – The South Carolina Hydrogen Economy: Capitalizing on the State’s R&D Assets and South Carolina Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Economy Strategy Final Report) found that South Carolina has the infrastructure, technology, and resources to be competitive in a hydrogen economy and that it should exploit these capabilities.46 The state began to implement a cluster strategy that creates a closely knit concentration of producers, suppliers and institutions focused on emerging industries that the state expects to grow and achieve competitiveness.47 The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Cluster (part of the Future Fuels Cluster) is recognized as one of South Carolina’s important economic clusters.

SC Fuel Cell Cluster
Also in 2005, the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Alliance (SCHFCA) was formed to oversee the state’s fuel cell strategy and promote the state’s hydrogen and fuel cell cluster. Members include federal and state government offices (Savannah River National Lab, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Energy Office, Fire Marshal’s Office, and Department of Minority Affairs), private companies, coalitions and partnerships, and university and research facilities in the state. SCHFCA’s report, Economic Development: South Carolina’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Cluster (2014), proposes a “Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Cluster Action Plan” for continued growth of the industry in the state. South Carolina has completed mapping of its fuel cell and hydrogen supply chain, the first in the country to do so using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code.

The South Carolina Innovation Plan 2013, a roadmap to strengthen the development of the state’s “innovative econo¬my,” also recommends that efforts and resources should focus on advancing growth in high-tech firms in industries that have the most high-growth potential – which includes the fuel cell and hydrogen cluster.

Additionally, the state’s General Assembly recently amended Section 12-6-3588 of the 1976 Code to enact the South Carolina Clean Energy Tax Incentive Program, “to encourage business investment that will produce high quality employment opportunities and enhance this state’s position as a center for production and use of clean energy products. The program accomplishes this goal by providing tax incentives to companies in the solar, wind, geothermal, and other clean energy industries which are expanding or locating in South Carolina.“

Read the full U.S. Department of Energy State of the States: Fuel Cells in America 2014 report

Gadgetfest Returns for 11th Annual Event Celebrating Gadgets

Gadgetfest 11
Every December Since 2004 we have held a special holiday edition of our Learning Lunch, celebrating the latest and greatest gadgets. Each year local gadget enthusiasts present their most recent fascination and local tech companies display their latest innovation.

For Gadgetfest 11 we are expecting a bountiful display of gadgets in addition to a handsome array of prizes. Join us or miss out on this year’s greatest gadgets.

If you are interested in presenting your coolest toy at this year’s Gadgetfest please register as a single gadget presenter.

Gadgetfest 11

a GSATC Learning Lunch
Presented by: Upstate Gadgeteers
Date: Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Time: 11:30am – 1:00pm

11:30 – 12:00 Registration, Networking, Lunch
12:00 – 12:10 Announcements
12:10 – 1:15 Gadgets
1:15 – 1:30 Door Prizes, Adjourn

This meeting features easy access from I-385, plenty of free parking, ample networking opportunities, a great presentation, and door prizes. Plan to attend.
Register in advance and save a few dollars. Registration at the door is $30.

Scio Diamond Technology Corporation and Renaissance Diamonds Inc. Launch Joint Venture to Deliver New Type of Color Diamonds

Scio DiamondGreenville based Scio Diamond Technology Corporation and Renaissance Diamonds Inc. announced that they have signed a memo of understanding for a joint venture to develop and deliver high-quality, lab-grown, fancy-colored diamonds to the gem stone and jewelry market. The two companies will bring their respective expertise together to deliver the highest-quality, certified, fancy-colored, lab-grown gems in the industry.

“Renaissance Diamonds has been a groundbreaker in the created jewel and diamond market for more than 20 years and is the ideal partner for Scio Diamond,” says Gerald McGuire, President and CEO of Scio Diamond Technology Corporation. “Together, we can grow and deliver the industry’s best quality, lab-grown, fancy-colored diamonds.”

“Scio Diamond has pioneered the market with their proprietary chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technology and has demonstrated the capability to grow extraordinary gems. Together, this gives us the opportunity to create a new, profitable segment for the retail jewelry market,” said Neil Koppel, President and CEO of Renaissance Diamonds Corporation.

Renaissance has developed an in-store distribution program that will launch in Q1 of 2015 at one of the country’s most prominent retailers. Additionally, Renaissance has sent initial shipments of their fancy-colored diamonds to independent retailers, who have reported robust sales.

via Scio Diamond Technology